Off-Duty Deputy Rescues Driver from Sinking Vehicle

Off-Duty Deputy Rescues Driver from Sinking Vehicle

Under normal circumstances, having a seizure while driving can be dangerous or outright fatal. For one driver in Harris County, Texas this week, it was a near miss.


The male driver apparently had a seizure while driving around the 300 block of Cobia Drive in Harris County, near I-10 at about 6:45 in the morning. His Chrysler PT Cruiser actually left the road, where it rolled about 30 yards into a nearby pond. It began to sink, and the driver, unconscious, made no effort to escape the floundering vehicle.


The driver was very fortunate; despite the early hour, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy and another bystander were nearby, and saw the Cruiser leave the road. The deputy, identified as S. Arhelger, was in the area only coincidentally, as he walked his dog around the pond. When he saw that the driver was not attempting to escape and likely needed help, Deputy Arhelger swam in himself, and freed the driver who was slumped across the steering wheel.


Deputy Arhelger was able to get the driver free of the vehicle, then swam back to the shore for a line of rope and a life jacket. With the right tools and the help of a bystander, along with additional department personnel and county fire crews, he was able to get the driver to shore where he could be treated properly by onsite medical responders. The driver was transported to the hospital, but released that evening in good condition.


“This is a case of someone being in the right place at the right time,” said one fire department employee. He commended the efforts of the multidisciplinary team of law enforcement, fire department, and ordinary citizens in rescuing the driver.




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